Azamgarh Police Crackdown on Anti-CAA Protest, Women Protesters Lathi-Charged
AZAMGARH, UTTAR PRADESH, FEBRUARY 05— The Uttar Pradesh police allegedly used excessive force to remove an anti-CAA protest being held by women in Bilariaganj area of Azamgarh district in the wee hours of Tuesday. At least one woman was seriously injured in the police action, say media reports.
“UP Police tear gassed and lathi-charged women at 4 am in Azamgarh. Adityanath government has its constitution and law which have no place for human rights,” tweeted senior journalist Prashant Tandon.
Human rights group Rihai Manch has charged that the police unleashed lathi-charge and fired teargas shells on the protesters. It said this all happened in the presence of the senior officers of the district including DM and demanded action against the officers.
A video shows that police officers were telling the protesters that they had not taken permission for this protest and so they cannot do it without permission and they will have to first get permission.
In a press statement Wednesday morning, Rihai Manch’s General Secretary Rajiv Yadav said that the police unleashed to lathi-charge and teargas firing on the women who were holding sit-in at Jauhar Ali Park in Bilariayganj area.
“The women were protesting peacefully and democratically against Citizenship Amendment Act. Around midnight, policemen came in three buses, surrounded the protest area and chased the protesters. Only women were left behind there. Police ask them to vacate the place but they refuse citing law and constitution. Then police resorted to lathi-charge and used rubber bullets, water cannons and even teargas shells. The police did not stop at it. They filled the protest venue with water. Later they arrested several people. They barged into homes and picked whoever came in their way. The mobiles of those detained got switched off by the police and thus families are unable to contact them,” said Yadav.
Rihai Manch has alleged that at least three people including a woman were injured in the police crackdown. While condemning the police action, the rights group has termed it “inhuman”.
“This incident is shameful and in human. Rihai Manch strongly condemns it and demand immediate release of those detained and high-level probe into it,” he said.
Azamgarh is represented by Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav in the Lok Sabha. He has not been much vocal on the police crackdown on anti-CAA protesters in other districts of UP in December.
A twitter user criticized Akhilesh: “Aap to MP hai aazamgarh ke, aaj azamgarh me brutal attack hua uski to information hogi hi apke paas shayad. jin logo pr attack hua unhone ne hi apko parliament me bheja hai. Agr ap na khare hue aaj to yad rakhiyega CM to kya MLA bhi nhi ban paoge ap.” (You are MP of Azamgarh, you must be aware of the police action. Those who were attacked had voted for you and sent you to Parliament. If you don’t raise voice, you won’t even win MLA election leave aside CM chair.”
More than 20 persons were killed, mostly in police firing, in Kanpur, Meerut, Firozabad and other places on December 20. Several hundreds were arrested and thousands were booked. The police had conducted crackdown after some protests turned violent and state Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath called for “revenge” with the anti-CAA protesters.